Hello Daylily Friends,
Today there has been considerable rain, and I am therefore unable to do much in the garden. So, I have decided to give you a history of what I have done with TET. PINK RUFFLED LOVE. During the summer of 2009 I was convinced that I had it converted. I'm showing a picture of the flower, and I'm also showing a picture of the pollen that there was on the anthers. You can see from looking at the pollen that there were a number of pollens that measured 14-15 in size. Unfortunately, there were also many diploid pollens that were 10 or less in size. The result was that I was unable to use TET. PINK RUFFLED LOVE in my tetraploid pollination program. So, I decided to treat it again. You may recall that TET. PINK RUFFLED LOVE is a Jesse Bomar daylily that was introduced back in 1996. It is only 18 inches in height, but it has a 6 inch flower. It is a rose color with a lovely halo in the eye with a green throat. The most important factor about this daylily is that it has a lovely flower, and that it is "dormant." May I again say that it is dormant.
I actually cut the plant on Halloween day, October 31, 2009, and I am showing a picture of the plant when it was actually treated with Colchicine. I might add that it has been my experience that when a daylily is partially converted, it is then easier to treat the daylily a second time, and bring it to a full conversion. I have had this experience with several daylilies, and my most recent similar experience has been with TET. ESP. I had TET. ESP partially converted, and then when I treated it the second time it became a full tetraploid conversion.
On November 26, 2009, the plant had grown from its treatment stage, and required some trimming. I have found that if a treated daylily is not trimmed, then, the likelihood is that it will develop some form of "rot," and die. Even if the daylily is trimmed it can still develop rot, and die. Still, if the plant is trimmed, and if you are dealing with a smaller, visible growing point, your chances for success are materially improved. I like to use objects to accomplish the trimming that are clean, and that are not as likely to spread disease. After the trimming is complete I like to use a disinfectant powder that helps to diminish the likelihood of rot. I do not water the plant before or after it is trimmed, and I only use water when it appears that the plant has grown somewhat beyond its size at the time of trimming. If at all possible, do not water 5 days before trimming, and likewise do not water for at least 5 days after trimming. In my humble opinion, the process of trimming is the "most critical step" in converting a diploid to a tetraploid.
Now, here is a picture that I took this morning in the Greenhouse. As you can see from the picture, TET. PINK RUFFLED LOVE is of a nice size, and it is showing a scape. You would think that the process is complete. That is, just wait for the scape to bloom, and that will be the end of the story. This is not true. At this point the watering must be "conserved." Now that the plant is likely, fully converted, it is more prone to "blast." If the plant blasts, then the potential flower is lost, time is lost, and the gardener will have to wait much longer to see the process of his efforts. So, at this juncture, TET. PINK RUFFLED LOVE must receive a reduced amount of water to avoid any blasting. Also, the plant must be kept from the hot sunshine. There should be no damage to the plant roots, and every effort must be made to control thrips, aphids, spider mites, and gnats. This is not a small objective.
In a few weeks I will show a new flower on TET. PINK RUFFLED LOVE, and I will also again show the pollen.
You might think to yourself, why is Bill working with a diploid that is 18" in height. Well, I know that progress is made by taking a beautiful diploid, getting it converted, and then using it with a very tall tetraploid. I have the pollen parents already selected, and these plants have heights that are 35 to 38 inches. You may enjoy hearing "the rest of the story" as this spring progresses.